Herefordshire had six council officials on salaries over £100,000 last year – but this is on the lower end among comparable English local authorities.

New figures released by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which campaigns for lower taxation and public spending, put Herefordshire joint 40th out of the 53 English unitary authorities which published accounts for 2020/21.

Three others, Wiltshire, Buckinghamshire and Reading, did not publish this information.

Herefordshire is one of England’s smaller unitaries, its 193,000 population placing it 33rd out of the 56.

But the figures show little correlation between size and the number of highly paid officials. Neighbouring Shropshire, with a population of 323,000, had only five on more than £100,000, while Halton in Cheshire, with just 129,000 residents, had 14 such officials.

Nor is there any clear relationship between higher-paid officials and council tax rates. Of the seven authorities – none of them unitary – which list no officers' pay packets over £100,000, all but two charged above the national average Band D rate of £1,966, the Taxpayers' Alliance pointed out.

Herefordshire’s figure here for 2020/21 was close to this, at £2,052.

London’s boroughs made up eight of the top 10 for number of officials paid over £100,000, with Westminster topping the tree at 44.

The West Midlands’ highest-paid official was Sandwell’s “executive director for neighbourhoods” on £302,000 – but most of this was accounted for by a pay-out of £180,000 for loss of office.


The Taxpayers’ Alliance data lists three Herefordshire officials in the top bracket, all of whom have also since left.

Former chief executive Alistair Neill received the 10th biggest severance pay-out nationally of 2020/21, of £120,000, when he left his post early last year.

Herefordshire Council figures published at the start of this year showed only five staff currently on more than £100,000, following restructuring and a pay freeze.